When Life Gives You Meyer Lemons…

by Fiorella Valdesolo (NYC)

If you haven’t experienced the utter deliciousness that is a Meyer lemon, do your taste buds a favor and get over to your local grocer immediately. Traditionally, the season for this spectacular golden citrus fruit—a moderately tart, extra-juicy hybrid of a lemon and a Mandarin orange brought over from China by “agricultural explorer” Frank Meyer—runs from November to March, but a few weeks ago, I miraculously uncovered an early delivery at my neighborhood gourmet market in Brooklyn. Though the taste will likely improve as the season gets closer, I was still so impressed when I got home and sliced one open to take a nibble (uh huh, you can do that with these).

Since Meyers are sweeter than traditional lemons, they’re really ideal for making desserts. Knowing that, I set about scanning my favorite recipe website, Food52, for ideas (if you’re not already a fan, you should know it’s amazing). I settled on Lazy Mary’s Lemon Tart for two reasons: 1) It made use of the entire lemon, rind and all, and 2) its name implied that the recipe would be light on labor. The result? Mary may have been lazy, but she’s also genius.

A few things to note before you get baking. The recipe calls for you to make your own tart shell (my vote is for either Gourmet’s or Mark Bittman’s recipe, but you can also get away with using a pre-made variety if you’re feeling extra lazy). If you want your tart to be slightly more, well, tart, reduce the amount of sugar (I tried it with 1 cups and it was just right). Serve the tart plain, in all its lemony glory, or garnish with fresh strawberries and a sprig of mint. If you feel like getting extra fancy, whip up a quick fruit sauce by throwing a handful of strawberries or blueberries into a saucepan with some balsamic vinegar and a few heaping tablespoons of sugar, and let it simmer on low heat until it reduces. Enjoy. (I certainly did.)

Lazy Mary’s Lemon TartSERVES ONE TART

  • 1 large Meyer lemon cut into 8 pieces
  • 1½ cups superfine sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 whole eggs
  • Your favorite tart shell

Directions:

1. Put all ingredients (except tart shell) into a blender and whirl like crazy.

2. Pour contents into tart shell.

3. Bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees (watch that the top doesn’t burn).

4. Devour.